Simone is a lithe, lovely, and earnest young sex researcher in New York City, dispatched to a brownstone called “The Fuckhouse”, a solid building with liquid orientation, to study the inhabitants thereof.
Where this movie immediately appealed to me was in the fact that Simone was given a Prime Directive: “Keep your pants on.”
Part of the appeal, also, was in that the cast wasn’t cut from the same Porn Valley material. Whereas someone in the Chatsworth area code might write a script and cast from the available talent pool, hoping for the best, writer/director Audacia Ray appears to have cast her ready and willing friends. In some cases, this is actually true.
Simone pops in on various couples at the Fuckhouse; Audacia Ray starts us off traditionally with a standard boy/girl scene, as if to satisfy a requirement. Simone takes notes. What sort of notes could she be taking? I mean, I take plenty of notes when I watch people having sex. Some of them include “OMG nice rack” and “squeezy”, but those notes are hardly scientific. Simone is in trouble.
Simone then heads down the hall where she finds Tucker and Trixie. Those two are all about the fluid sexuality.
“I am trying to teach him Breath of Life orgasms,” Trixie says, “but he just wants to fuck.”
“Mind if I take notes?” Simone asks.
They agree, but it was at this moment I remembered a long-suppressed fear I have: what must fucking people think when someone walks in the room and starts taking notes (or pictures) of them fucking? I am that Someone often. Do they think I’m judging them? Searching for something to fulfill a quota? Getting off? At least one of those variables is always present.
We are not sure at what point Simone decides to abandon her objectivity and join the action, but we know from the cover photo that it is inevitable. After Trixie pegs Tucker, the latter asks Simone if she will join him in the shower. She agrees, with no interior monologue about Why this might be the wrong thing to do. Would she turn Science on its head?
Luckily, Tucker is distracted by another fellow in the bathroom, Antonio Rodickuez, and the two men paw each other while Simone masturbates, her scholarly facade shattered.
In the Behind the Scenes featurette, Ray talks about “the world of the movie”. As in, “While this scene might be shot on a different day from the previous (or later) scene, ‘in the world of the movie’ it happens right after.” In the world of the movie, Simone’s break with her scientific regimen is abrupt.
Simone herself is delightful. She doesn’t get boring. But the movie becomes very specific and, I think, exclusionary. Cameos by Lux Nightmare and Rachel Kramer Bussel seem like inside jokes, and this reviewer felt left out. Joe Gallant‘s cameo as a pizza delivery man was inspired, and was the only scene in the movie that felt just the right length, but if the laudable departures from standard porn movie fare were present in the couplings and triplings depicted, and were themselves evidence of an inclusive, groovy worldview, the cameos amounted to out of context shoutouts for the benefit of a limited audience.
Simone is eventually led down the garden path, as we know she should be. The movie ends with a three-way with Rodickuez, Josh, and Simone that is a little lackluster. While bisexuality, “fluid” sexuality, pegging, etc. are all given time in this movie, we don’t get the sense that there is a heightened reality to their characterizations. There isn’t really much excitement in what should be the climactic scene. Shouldn’t the “straight” couple as well as Tucker and Trixie have been present and joined in? That’s what I would expect of a place calling itself a Fuckhouse.
Simone should have been sent back to her fancy-shmancy school with her hair disheveled and dressed in nothing but baby wipes. Instead, we get the impression that she threw away her scholar’s objectivity for a half-hearted encounter.
The argument might be made that “this is how real people who practice fluid sexuality are”, but if that is the case, The Bi Apple isn’t a great recruiting tool for the lifestyle.
If Simone Valentino is the star of the movie (and I hope we get to see her again), then Tasty Trixie is the star of the BTS. Like everyone in the cast, she is hot in an accessible way (Bussel and Nightmare shouldn’t have been such teases), but also dispenses folksy porn set wisdom that reveals a basic adherence to conventions even among trippy pan-sexuals.
Discussing a cross-dressing man whom she and her girlfriend pegged in Boston, Trixie was a little shocked at his lack of shame when, as a result of the anal interloping, he pooped on her friend’s bedspread.
“If you’re going to dress like a girl,” she said, “at least be mortified like a girl.”